contemporary art of the Middle East and North Africa
Venetia Porter, 2020

Reflections: contemporary art of the Middle East and North Africa commemorates a collection of works on paper by key modern and contemporary Middle East artists, built by The British Museum curator Venetia Porter over the past 14 years. The book highlights lesser-known aspects of the artists' practices, featuring Farhad Ahrarnia, Mona Saudi, and Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim.


Beirut artist Mona Saudi, for example, is chiefly known for her smooth stone sculptures, whereas Reflections represents her via her screen-print series The Petra Tablets, which contain verses from Adonis’s poem of the same name. Emirati artist Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim’s work, which so exuberantly traffics in colour, appears via his more minute, monochrome drawings. The focus on works on paper has one key advantage in the specific context of Arab and Iranian art: it powerfully conveys the connection to text and calligraphy that was the genesis of the collection.